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Frequently Asked

Questions

All right, you’ve got questions. So let’s cut the chitchat and get right to it.

BATTERY PRODUCT INFORMATION STORAGE DEEP-CYCLE VS. STARTING
Charging Warranty Fitment
Miscellaneous OPTIMA® Chargers

Battery Product Information

What is the difference between REDTOP®,YELLOWTOP® and BLUETOP® batteries?

REDTOP®: Use this for normal engine starting where an alternator immediately monitors the state of charge and provides energy to the battery whenever it is needed. This would describe most stock vehicles.

  • Automotive and RV underhood starting
  • Heavy equipment where starting is the primary function
  • Diesel-powered vehicles with no aftermarket electronics


YELLOWTOP®: Use this when electrical loads are higher than average, or when the discharge cycle is more than typical engine starting, such as vehicles without alternators. This also includes vehicles with significant electrical loads that may exceed the average alternator output (for example, aftermarket audio systems, GPS, chargers, winches, snowplows, inverters, drag cars). This can also include vehicles that have a lot of electronics from the factory, such as a minivan with power sliding doors and a DVD player, especially if the DVD player is used when the engine isn’t running.

  • Racing vehicles without a charging system (alternator or generator)
  • Dedicated drag-racing vehicles
  • Diesel-powered vehicles with aftermarket electronics
  • Car audio/video applications exceeding 250 watts over the OE system
  • Vehicles or heavy equipment with inverters, hydraulics, winches or other accessories
  • Electric vehicles


BLUETOP®: The BLUETOP® starting battery (dark gray case) is to be used when a dedicated starting battery is required; it should never be used for cycling duty. The dual-purpose BLUETOP® (light gray case) can be used for both starting and deep cycling; it is a true deep-cycle battery with extremely high cranking power.

  • Trolling motors, marine applications with heavy electrical accessories and RVs should use a dual-purpose BLUETOP® (which is both a starting and deep-cycle battery)
  • Use a BLUETOP® starting battery for marine applications and RVs when the battery’s only function is engine starting

 

Note: The difference between BLUETOP® and YELLOWTOP® deep-cycle batteries is that BLUETOP® batteries have both automotive (SAE) posts and threaded studs, while YELLOWTOP®S (other than D31T) only have SAE terminals.

If you ever get confused on the colored tops, just remember: if it has a dark gray case, then it’s a starting battery; if it has a light gray case, then it’s a deep-cycle (dual-purpose) battery.

What does the OPTIMA® SPIRALCELL TECHNOLOGY® design do?

The OPTIMA® SPIRALCELL TECHNOLOGY® provides many features not available in ordinary batteries, such as:

  • More plate surface, closer plate spacing and the use of high-purity lead. RESULTING IN: Low internal resistance. This low resistance gives you more power in a smaller box, the ability to recharge much faster, and higher and cleaner voltage characteristics during discharge
  • Immobilized plates under compression (locked in place). RESULTING IN: Improved vibration resistance, no shedding of active paste material, reduced gradual loss of power and capacity as the battery ages. This gives you a battery that lasts longer and performs better throughout its life

Why does an OPTIMA® battery last longer than other batteries?

The main reasons the OPTIMA battery has a longer life are:

  • There is no shedding of active paste material
  • The SPIRALCELL TECHNOLOGY® immobilizes the plates, preventing the active paste from working loose, which can cause plate-to-plate shorting
  • It utilizes a high-purity lead grid
  • The grid material in OPTIMA batteries is more resistant to grid degradation – a type of internal corrosion that affects the plates inside a battery as it ages
  • The completely sealed design prevents loss of water which can lead to plate dry-out and failure

Why the low rate of self-discharge?

Mostly this is due to the purity of the lead in the OPTIMA® plates. Some of the alloys in conventional batteries are more prone to electron transfer, resulting in higher self-discharge than is found in an OPTIMA battery.

Why is OPTIMA® not as perishable as other batteries?

OPTIMA batteries have an increased ability to withstand the high demands being placed on batteries today, including high-heat situations, heavy electronic loads and increased vibration. The SPIRALCELL TECHNOLOGY® in an OPTIMA battery is what keeps it from shedding active material that gives a battery power. This technology also extends an OPTIMA battery’s cycling ability.

What is a gel battery? Is OPTIMA® a gel battery?

A gel battery design is typically a modification of the standard lead-acid automotive or marine battery. A gelling agent is added to the electrolyte to reduce movement inside the battery case. Many gel batteries also use one-way valves in place of open vents, which help the normal internal gasses to recombine back into water in the battery, reducing gassing. Generally, gel batteries are less tolerant of high heat and are charged at lower power than traditional or AGM batteries.  An OPTIMA battery is neither a gel battery nor regular flooded battery. OPTIMA is a SPIRALCELLTECHNOLOGY AGM battery.

Does an OPTIMA® battery ever gas?

When used with a properly regulated constant voltage charging system (such as an alternator), the OPTIMA will not emit hydrogen gas. However, gassing can occur when charging at excessive voltage levels or in extreme high-temperature conditions. In automotive applications, this typically will not happen if the alternator/regulator stays below 15 volts.

DEEP-CYCLE VS. STARTING

What does deep-cycle mean?

Deep-cycle means using the battery in an application that will typically discharge 60 to 70 percent or more of the battery capacity. A standard automotive battery is an SLI (starting, lighting, ignition) battery. Its plates are designed to deliver maximum power for a short duration. Starting a car typically discharges an SLI battery less than 5 percent. When an SLI battery is used in a deep-cycle application, or in a vehicle with heavy accessory loads, the battery life will be shortened proportionally to how deeply it is cycled on a regular basis.

When should I consider a deep-cycle battery?

Anytime you need the battery to supply all the operating power for a vehicle or other device. Additionally, deep-cycle batteries should be used in vehicles that have heavy accessory loads where the alternator cannot maintain the battery in a fully charged condition. Some examples include vehicles with powerful stereo systems, vehicles with increased electronics like GPS, game systems, DVD players and LCD screens or boats with onboard chargers, trolling motors, fish-finders, stereos, lights, etc.

What’s the difference between an OPTIMA® deep-cycle and a starter battery?

The OPTIMA deep-cycle battery utilizes a different chemistry. This chemistry change allows for a much longer life in cycling applications, with only a slight reduction in starting power.

When should I use a deep-cycle OPTIMA® battery as a starting battery?

Deep-cycle batteries are designed for applications that require deep, repetitive amperage drain like trolling motors, golf carts, and electric wheelchairs or RV house power sources. However, there are other applications called heavy-cycling or high-cycling, when a deep-cycle OPTIMA® battery can successfully replace a starting battery to provide longer life and better performance. In heavy-cycling or high-cycling applications, a vehicle will pull unusually high amperage levels from the starting battery due to extra accessories or limited alternator capacity. Public safety professionals such as police, fire and ambulance fleet managers often find that traditional starting batteries cannot provide adequate life and performance due to heavy cycling. Using an OPTIMA® deep-cycle battery in this type of application will result in longer life and better performance.

In any vehicle or equipment that will use the battery only for starting, lighting and ignition (SLI) requirements and has a properly working alternator, the OPTIMA® REDTOP® Starting Battery will perform extremely well, often providing up to two times longer life than conventional batteries. If the vehicle has few or no aftermarket accessories and uses a stock or upgraded alternator, the OPTIMA REDTOP® Starting Battery is the appropriate choice.

Remember, it is possible to have a deeply discharged YELLOWTOP® that will not start the engine; the advantages of the YELLOWTOP® are that it can accept a rapid recharge and it will recover from discharge many more times.

It is necessary to consider both the application and the charging system before deciding which OPTIMA battery is correct for you. For example, if you have a Ford Expedition with an aftermarket alarm system and you drive the vehicle every day, the OPTIMA REDTOP® would be the correct choice since the amperage drain will be nominal and the battery would be recharged on a daily basis.

However, if you store the vehicle for long periods with the alarm system engaged without maintaining the battery, you should use an OPTIMA YELLOWTOP® since the amperage drain over several weeks would damage a REDTOP® and reduce its life.

How does a gel cell compare to your deep-cycle?

Most gel batteries have much higher internal resistance, meaning they will not be able to deliver and receive current as efficiently. This is especially apparent at higher amperage levels. For example, most gel batteries will not work successfully in engine-starting applications.

Does an OPTIMA® Deep-Cycle have a “memory?”

Lead-acid batteries do not suffer from memory effect. Many people think they have a memory because they experience a reduction in capacity or runtime as the battery ages. The active paste material in a lead-acid battery is a consumable item, similar to tread on a tire. Every time you cycle the battery, some of the paste is used up. As the battery ages, less of the active paste is available to charge and discharge, resulting in a reduced operating time. This situation can be more apparent in the case where a high-power or starting, lighting and ignition (SLI) battery is used in a deep-cycle application. The plates of an SLI battery are designed for high-current, short-duration discharges. Plates in deep-cycle batteries are better suited to repetitive deep-discharge applications.

STORAGE

Will the battery discharge if left sitting on concrete?

No, today's batteries use polypropylene plastic for the case material. They will not be affected. When possible, always store a battery in a cool, dry location.

What are storage recommendations for OPTIMA® batteries?

The most important consideration when storing any battery is to make sure the voltage never drops below 12.4 volts. We recommend using a type of "battery maintainer" – a device that will monitor your battery and keep it at full state of charge during storage.

There are two types of maintenance chargers:

  1. Preferred – Fully automatic multistage or multistep chargers, which monitor the battery and charge it as necessary. Multistage maintainers will charge at varying voltages and varying amperage (rarely exceeding 2-amps). Some of these multistep chargers are also capable of being regular battery chargers (seven amps or more).
  2. OK but not preferred – Traditional float chargers provide constant voltage with tapering amperage to the battery even when it is fully charged. For float charging, we recommend 1 amp max, 13.2-13.8 volts.


If it is not possible to use a maintenance charger, disconnect the battery from the vehicle during storage to prevent small electrical drains from discharging the battery. Always provide a full charge with a battery charger prior to storage, and then check the battery voltage every three to six months. Charge the battery if it falls below 12.4 volts.

Also, when possible, store your battery in a cool, dry location.

CHARGING

Why is my battery dead? (troubleshooting battery/electrical issues)

Fully charged, engine not running, starting batteries (all REDTOP® or BLUETOP® 34M) should measure about 12.6 volts to 12.8 volts. Deep-cycle batteries (all YELLOWTOP® and dual-purpose BLUETOP®) should measure approximately 12.8 volts and 13.0 volts. Voltage measurements of the battery when the engine is running are the output of your alternator. This measurement should be about 13.3-15.0 volts, which may differ due to temperature. At average operating temperatures of 50° to 80°F, your alternator output voltage should be about 14 volts to 14.8 volts.

If you don’t have a multimeter, you can test the output of your alternator by starting the car and turning on the headlights. If they are dim, it indicates the lights are running off the battery and that little or no power is being produced by the alternator. If the lights get brighter as you rev the engine, it means the alternator is producing some current, but may not be producing enough at idle to keep the battery properly charged. If the lights have normal brightness and don't change intensity as the engine is revved, your charging system is probably functioning normally.

If this checks out, you should determine whether or not the battery is holding a charge, or if something on the vehicle is discharging the battery.

There are three likely scenarios to explain the problems you're having:

  1. A high parasitic draw (key-off load).This can quickly discharge a battery and decrease its service life. This may be caused by a trunk light, cigarette lighter, clock/radio, alarm system or any other electrical device. Current drain on the battery can be checked with an ammeter. With the ignition off, disconnect one of the battery cables. Connect one ammeter lead to the battery and the other to the cable. The normal current drain on most vehicles should be about 25 milliamps or less. If the key-off drain exceeds 100 milliamps, there's an electrical problem that requires further diagnosis. If you don’t want to take your car to a mechanic, the easiest way to isolate the problem is to pull one fuse at a time from the fuse panel until the ammeter reading drops.
  2. A problem with your battery is causing it to not hold a charge. To check this, remove the battery from the vehicle, charge it to the full voltage, wait 12 to 24 hours then measure its voltage. Another faster, but less preferable way to do this is to turn on the high-beam headlights for 15 seconds, turn them off, wait 5 to 10 minutes, then check the voltage. If you measure the voltage of the battery the next day, week or even a month later, the voltage should be close to the max voltages listed above. If the voltage holds when not installed in your vehicle but drops when it is in your vehicle, see #1 above.
  3. The battery was somehow discharged, and your maintenance charger is not able to properly charge your deeply discharged battery. Please see the directions for charging a deeply discharged battery.

Do I need a special charger for my OPTIMA® battery?

Both the OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 400 & Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainer enhance the performance of OPTIMA and other AGM batteries, recover deeply discharged batteries and extend battery life. However, under normal vehicle starting applications, most regular automatic lead-acid battery chargers will properly charge an OPTIMA battery. However, since OPTIMA batteries are frequently used in high-performance applications or nonstandard vehicle starting applications, there are certain instances that must be given special considerations.

An OPTIMA battery is an AGM battery, not a gel battery or regular flooded battery. A deeply discharged OPTIMA battery (less than 10.5 volts) will not test or recharge properly if treated as a gel battery or regular flooded battery. A handheld electronic battery tester will most likely provide inaccurate test results.

An OPTIMA battery has the benefit of very low internal resistance, which allows high-amperage output as well as efficient charge acceptance. This benefit also allows an OPTIMA battery to run longer than its specified ratings and run to a lower voltage than typical flooded batteries. All of this can lead to confusion when it comes to recharging a deeply discharged OPTIMA. Most basic battery chargers have a built-in function to prevent charging a battery with less than 10.5 volts. If your OPTIMA battery is discharged below that, the battery charger may not start up.

Most high-quality, modern battery chargers now have built-in features to charge AGM batteries like OPTIMA batteries. Some have specific AGM settings which should be used to charge an OPTIMA battery. Do not use gel or gel/AGM settings, as they will not fully charge an OPTIMA battery and could damage it over time. However, even some AGM-compatible chargers will not recharge deeply-discharged (less than 10.5 volts) OPTIMA batteries. In those instances, it may be necessary to follow the parallel charging instructions described elsewhere in this FAQ.

For regular charging we recommend a maximum of 10-amps, 13.8-15.0 volts. For float charging, we recommend 1 amp maximum, 13.2-13.8 volts.

Under normal (engine-starting) conditions, an OPTIMA battery should never experience “at-rest” voltages below 10.5 volts. In these applications, most 12 volt chargers (old or new) or alternators will sufficiently recharge an OPTIMA battery with at least 10.5 volts. Typically, we only see issues with charging when it relates to stand-alone deep-cycling applications or severely discharged OPTIMA batteries.

 

These guidelines are intended for typical consumer applications.   For military, commercial applications or new equipment design, please contact OPTIMA for additional technical information & assistance

How do I charge a deeply discharged battery?

charging_illustration.gifIf an OPTIMA battery is deeply discharged (below 10.5 volts), most basic chargers will not supply a charge. Also keep in mind that an OPTIMA battery will not recharge properly if treated as a regular flooded or gel battery. To charge the battery, you can wire a second fully charged automotive battery (12+volts) to the discharged AGM in parallel (+ to + and – to –). Then hook up the charger to the deeply discharged battery, setting the charger at 10 amps. Leave for two hours, monitoring frequently. During this process, if the discharged battery gets very hot or if it is venting (hissing sound from vents), then stop this process immediately. When the discharged battery reaches 10.5 volts or more, remove the standard battery and continue charging the AGM until fully charged.

For normal charging, a relatively low current, such as one or two amps, can work well, but when the battery has been deeply discharged, some sulfation of the battery plates may have occurred. If you charge at 10 amps, the higher current will help to break up this sulfation.

If you have an automatic charger, let it run until the charger indicates charging is complete. If you have a manual charger, you can get a rough estimate of the charging time in hours of a completely discharged battery (11.2 volts) by multiplying the capacity (amp hours or Ah) of the battery by 1.2. If your battery is not completely discharged, the time would be less.

In most cases these steps will recover an AGM battery. It’s OK for the AGM battery to get slightly warm during the charging process. If it’s hot to the touch, it means there’s a short and the process should be discontinued.

Can you trickle-charge an OPTIMA® battery? And what type of charger can I use?

Yes, and you can use any charger on an OPTIMA Battery as long as the voltage is regulated properly. If your charger will remain on indefinitely, the voltage should be at 13.8 volts maximum with a one-amp maximum current.

Will my high-output alternator damage the OPTIMA® battery?

No, as long as the voltage is properly regulated. Because the OPTIMA battery has a very low internal resistance, it will accept high current more efficiently than conventional batteries.

WARRANTY

What is the warranty policy for OPTIMA® batteries?

Why do I need my receipt for warranty service?

The OPTIMA® factory warranty policy requires a receipt from the original purchaser. Your purchase receipt:

  1. Establishes the beginning date of service.
  2. Identifies you as the original purchaser.
  3. Identifies that the battery is used in a consumer (not commercial) application.
  4. Identifies the sale as a retail purchase of a new and unused OPTIMA® Battery.


An OPTIMA battery does not have a lifetime warranty. Your initial purchase of an OPTIMA battery carries a warranty based on the model and type of usage. If your OPTIMA battery is replaced under the warranty policy, your replacement battery carries a warranty period from the original OPTIMA purchase date. Warranty replacement batteries do not carry a new warranty. The only way for us to determine your original battery purchase date is to have the original receipt.

The same OPTIMA battery model that you purchased is used in many demanding commercial applications. Those applications carry a much different warranty than our consumer warranty. In addition, some OPTIMA batteries are provided to customers for testing or sponsorships. These batteries may not carry a warranty. Lastly, even though OPTIMA discourages this practice, some battery specialists may recondition OPTIMA products that have been returned for warranty replacement. These batteries could be resold and they would have absolutely no factory warranty coverage. Though we pride ourselves in the relationships we have with our distributors, and we have numerous programs and incentives to have defective batteries returned to us, we cannot have complete control over what happens with every returned battery.

FITMENT

Why doesn’t my vehicle show up on the fitment guide?

Unfortunately, OPTIMA® does not offer an exact-fit replacement battery for every application. You can measure the dimensions of your existing stock battery to see if there’s an OPTIMA® battery that will work for your vehicle. Below is a link to the product specification page where you can find exact dimensions for all OPTIMA® batteries:

View our products spec pages to find the exact dimensions.
YELLOWTOP®
BLUETOP®
REDTOP®


Alternately, you can check the Internet enthusiast forums for your vehicle to see how others have created custom fitments for their OPTIMA® batteries.

If you are using an OPTIMA® battery in a custom fitment application, it is important to consider the following:

  1. Hood clearance – There should be at least ¾-inch clearance between the top of the battery terminals and the underside of the hood.
  2. Trunk/interior mounting – If your battery is mounted inside the passenger compartment or trunk (common in many European makes), the battery must be vented to the outside of the vehicle. OPTIMA® group 27, 51, DS46B24R, 78, 34C and 31 batteries all have ports for connecting a vent hose.
  3. Side terminals – OPTIMA® 34/78, D34/78, 75/25 and D75/25 batteries have both top and side terminals. If you are using one of these batteries in a vehicle that uses the top terminals, it is important to ensure that the side terminals cannot come into contact with anything metallic (for example, the firewall or fender well), thereby causing a short. We suggest keeping the post protectors on the terminals you are not using. A winch should only be connected to the automotive posts.
  4. Battery modifications – Cutting, drilling, trimming or otherwise modifying your OPTIMA® battery may present a safety hazard and will void the warranty.
  5. Mounting – Your OPTIMA® battery must be securely mounted. The terminals are not intended to be used to secure the battery. Using the terminals in this way will damage the battery and void your warranty.

Do I need a 35 or a 75/25?

If you don't have aftermarket electrical accessories in your vehicle, we recommend the REDTOP® 35. If you do have aftermarket electrical accessories, such as an audio system with amps, we recommend YELLOWTOP® D35. Both of these are top-post-only batteries.

Please note we also make a group 75/25 battery (some retailers will label it 75/35 in their system). This battery has both top and side posts and probably will not work in your vehicle. The positive and negative posts are on the wrong side for your vehicle and your cables may not reach.

MISCELLANEOUS

How do I know if an online retailer is legitimate?

Any retailer from whom you purchase an OPTIMA® battery should provide warranty service for you for the full duration of your warranty. However, there are some online retailers that do not. We strongly recommend that you find out the warranty procedures before making a purchase. If the seller’s procedure is to contact the manufacturer or if they do not provide a customer service phone number that they answer (not the OPTIMA batteries’ customer service number), we recommend looking elsewhere.

To ensure full warranty, go to OPTIMAbatteries.com and purchase your battery directly from OPTIMA® Batteries Inc.

For same-day purchases and service, we recommend visiting your nearest OPTIMA retailer, since online purchases can take multiple days to arrive. Likewise, in the event that product support service is needed, online purchases must be shipped back to the original seller and can take several days to be processed and returned.

OPTIMA®-authorized online retailer requirements:

  • Ship OPTIMA products in approved shipment packaging
  • Answer a toll-free service phone number during business hours
  • Adhere to and honor the OPTIMA factory warranty policy
  • Provide an in-house warranty program

Can I hook up an OPTIMA® battery in parallel with my other battery?

No, when hooking batteries together in parallel, they should be of identical in age, size and type.

Can I use an isolator with an OPTIMA® battery?

Yes, most any type of battery separator or solenoid can be used with an OPTIMA battery. The important thing to remember is that the charging voltage must be within the limits suggested by OPTIMA batteries. If you are using an OPTIMA battery and a conventional battery, your system must charge each battery independently. Remember, some isolators cause a voltage drop, so make sure your charging voltage AT THE BATTERY is sufficient. Continued undercharging of a battery will lead to premature failure and a drop in capacity.

How do I dispose of my old battery?

All automotive batteries should be recycled and every brick & mortar retailer that sells automotive batteries is more than happy to take your old battery off your hands. Some will even give you store credit toward the purchase of a new battery. To find out where you can take your old battery to have it recycled, please visit www.recyclingmybattery.com

OPTIMA® Chargers Battery Charger and Maintainer PRODUCT FAQS

What is the OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainer?

  • The OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainer makes other chargers obsolete
  • Charges batteries other chargers can't
  • Charges faster than competitive chargers with up to 2x the output
  • Won't overcharge your battery
  • Maximizes your batteries’ performance


Designed with advanced digital charging technology, the OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainer delivers multistage charging, conditioning, automatic battery maintaining and reconditioning modes in addition to quick-set controls and an industry-leading LCD information display center. The OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainer is THE ULTIMATE POWER SOURCE™ for all your battery charging and maintaining needs. The ultra-premium OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainer will fully charge and maintain all types of 12 Volt lead-acid batteries while significantly extending their lives.

What is the difference between the OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 400 and Digital 1200?

  • The Digital 400 charges at a maximum rate of 4 amps, while the Digital 1200 can charge at a maximum rate of 12 amps. Both will work fine on all OPTIMA batteries, but the Digital 1200 can recharge batteries faster 
  • The Digital 1200 features a USB charging port 
  • The Digital 400 is significantly smaller (7.1" x 3.9" x 2.7") than the Digital 1200 (10" x 7.5" x 6.5") 
  • The Digital 1200 features an additional auxiliary maintainer port not available on the Digital 400 
  • The Digital 400 comes with a wall organizer bracket for easy mounting 
  • The Digital 1200 positive clamp has an integrated LED light to illuminate battery terminals for easy hook-ups in the darkest of conditions.

Why did OPTIMA batteries release a battery charger?

For years OPTIMA has received feedback from consumers and dealers regarding the unsatisfactory performance of existing battery chargers, in addition to significant confusion about the best way to charge and maintain batteries.

Why are the OPTIMA® chargers different or better than others?

As a division of the world's largest battery manufacturer, OPTIMA® batteries are able to leverage significant engineering resources and data to develop a superior battery charging algorithm. This algorithm allows the OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 400 and Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainer to charge batteries faster than most battery chargers of similar size, and to charge faster than chargers with up to two times the current (amps) output. The safety of OPTIMA chargers are also class-leading, with reverse polarity protection, spark-free connections and over-temperature protection. The OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 400 & Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainer will safely charge and maintain your battery even during long-term storage with automatic restart in the event of power disruption, temperature-compensated charging and several innovative features to prevent overcharge, even in the event of battery failure. Finally, several unique and innovative features have been included, such as a backlit LCD display, a USB charging port for phones and other devices (on the Digital 1200 only), integrated power cord and charging clamp storage, and an integrated work light on the charging clamp (on the Digital 1200 only).

What are the main product benefits of the OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 400 & Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainer?

  • Microprocessor controlled charging. Charges batteries faster than other chargers with similar ratings. Intelligent and efficient technology charges batteries faster than conventional chargers. Charges faster than conventional chargers with much higher ratings
  • Advanced safety features including no spark, reverse polarity, diagnosis of several battery faults and failures to prevent overcharging
  • Fully automatic, multi-stage performance charging, conditioning, maintaining and storage reconditioning modes. Makes sure your battery is always ready to use, while enhancing battery performance and life
  • Enhances the performance of OPTIMA and other batteries. In addition to the battery in your car or truck, it will charge and maintain standard automotive starting and deep-cycle batteries in other vehicles including motorcycles, lawn and garden equipment, and boats
  • Recovers deeply discharged batteries and charges batteries other chargers can't. Accidentally left a light on in your car? Battery dead in your car after storage? Your battery may be deeply discharged. These chargers will charge batteries discharged as low as 1.25 volts, the best in its class
  • Extends battery life and maintains battery performance by inhibiting and breaking up sulfation in your battery
  • Auxiliary side port compatible with supplied cable for maintaining common prewired battery maintainer installations. Conveniently charge your battery without even opening the hood of your vehicle (Digital 1200 only)
  • Quick-set, single-touch operation for charging by battery type or storage maintenance modes by connection type. Advanced technology, easy to use
  • LCD display for charging, maintaining and fault mode indication. Easy to understand, full text communication of charging status
  • Integrated LED work light on (+) charging clamp (Digital 1200 only)
  • USB port for convenient charging and powering of USB-supported devices and accessories, charge your phone, MP3 player or other device while charging your vehicle's battery (Digital 1200 only)

What batteries can I use with the OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 400 & Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainer?

The OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 400 & Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainers can charge all types of traditional and AGM 12 volts lead-acid batteries used in automotive, motorcycle, marine, tractor, power sports, RVs and more, as it will maximize the charging profile for each application, while giving every battery the ability to perform at the ultimate level.

The OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 400 & Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainer are both optimized when used with high-performance AGM batteries but have enhanced charging capabilities that can also be used with all traditional types of 12 volts lead-acid batteries.

Is it mandatory that I use an OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 400 or Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainer to charge my OPTIMA batteries?

No, but most chargers will not take advantage of the superior performance characteristics of OPTIMA batteries. The OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 400 or Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainer enhance the performance of OPTIMA and other high-performance AGM batteries, recovers deeply discharged batteries and extends battery life.

Can the OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainer charge anything else, besides batteries?

Yes, the USB/maintenance port allows consumers to charge tablets, smartphones and other devices that require a USB port, such as cameras. The USB port is compatible with demanding charging devices like the iPad®.

Can I charge non-OPTIMA batteries with the OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 400 or Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainer?

Yes, the OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 400 & Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainer can be used for charging 12 Volt flooded and AGM lead-acid batteries, used in automotive, motorcycle, marine, tractor, power sport, RV and more applications, as it will maximize the charging profile for each application, while giving every battery the ability to perform at the ultimate level.

What if I forget to turn the charger off when it is done charging?

After charging is complete, the charger will automatically go into maintain mode, keeping your battery fully charged while minimizing sulfation. Periodically, the charger will "exercise" the battery by altering the charge profile, further enhancing the useful life of your battery. If there is a power interruption during charging, the charger will automatically resume charging and maintaining your battery when power is restored.

Can I charge a 6V battery?

The OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 400 & Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainer are only designed for charging 12V batteries.

How/where should I store the product?

Store your OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 400 or Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainer in a dry safe location, and inspect all cables before use. Should the AC power cord, plug or the DC cables be damaged in any way, do not attempt to service. Follow the return instructions in the customer service and warranty section of the manual.

Is the product easy to use?

The new OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 400 & Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainer are both incredibly user-friendly. They both feature a full text LCD display for charging, maintaining and fault mode indication. This gauge displays battery charging and fill rate with charger mode and fault messages and is one of the best user interfaces on the market.

Other innovative features include an integrated LED work light (Digital 1200 only) with ergonomically designed DC charging clamps, quick-set selections that prompt users with a quick and easy selection of charge profiles by battery type of battery maintainer by connection type.

What is the point of maintaining a battery that I am not using?

One of the most damaging things one can do to a battery is let it rest uncharged. This will severely decrease battery performance and shorten battery life. The OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 400 & Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainer will automatically recondition your batteries in storage-recondition mode. When reconditioning is completed, the auto-maintain mode will resume, keeping your battery fully charged.

What does "multistage charging" mean?

The OPTIMA® Chargers Digital 400 & Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainer Performance Charger employ the latest in digital, multi-stage charging. With up to six fully-automatic modes, your OPTIMA Digital 400 or Digital 1200 Performance Charger will sequence through stages 1 through 6 below:

  • Stage 1: Analyze your battery's condition, state of charge and quality of connections before charging
  • Stage 2: Soft-ramp charging control for deeply discharged batteries when necessary
  • Stage 3: Fast-charge bulk mode for moderately discharged batteries also known as normal battery charging
  • Stage 4: Conditioning mode for conditioning your battery with a finish/complete charge
  • Stage 5: Auto maintain, float mode for keeping your battery fully charged
  • Stage 6: Automatic storage recondition mode – desulfates your battery when in storage and being maintained

 

Some battery charger manufacturers claim more charging stages or modes mean a better charger. More isn't better; the way the charging modes are designed is more important than the number of charging modes.

What does my warranty cover?

OPTIMA® Batteries, Inc. warrants this battery charger for three years from the date of original purchase against defects in material or workmanship that may occur under normal use and care. See complete details at OPTIMAbatteries.com.

Who should I contact if I have questions about the product?

For technical or warranty support, please call OPTIMA® customer service at 1-888-867-8462 (888-8OPTIMA) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (CST) Monday through Friday, or via email at info@OPTIMAbatteries.com.

What should I do if I believe I have a warranty claim?

Please DO NOT return your product to the dealer from whom it was purchased. In the event you need technical or warranty support, please call OPTIMA® customer service at 1-888-867-8462 (888-8OPTIMA) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (CST) Monday through Friday, or contact support via email at info@OPTIMAbatteries.com. All returns must first be authorized by OPTIMA batteries. Units returned without an RMA number may be misplaced or delayed.

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